Our dream, from when we started Active Education 18 years ago, was to contribute towards having every child in South Africa participating in physical education lessons at their school. And it was with this dream in mind that the Active Education Foundation was established.
Sport is the most powerful tool towards encouraging education. Children who participate in sports attend school regularly; they concentrate better in class; their social skills are improved and they are more likely to stay out of gangs and away from drugs and alcohol. Yet many South African schools have neither facilities, equipment nor teachers dedicated to providing physical education and sports coaching.
This is where our Active Education Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, steps in. Our main objective is to provide sport and physical education to schools without funding, resources and infrastructure for FREE.
To do this we identify a person from the community to train as a coach. We then employ them, full time, to provide structured physical education lessons and afternoon sport to the schools in their area. They also coordinate inter-school tournaments, which are festive and well-attended community events. The selected schools are within walking distance from the coach’s home so that transport is not a barrier to their coaching commitments.
We currently have community coaches in 13 primary and high schools within Gauteng. Most of these schools have over 1000 learners – that equates to the coaching of 13,000 children every week by Active Education Foundation’s community coaches!
Many of these community programmes have been ‘adopted’ by sponsors. These sponsorships cover the coach’s salary and their coaching equipment, which is branded with the sponsor’s logos.
Active Education Foundation is partnered with socially responsible organisations Virgin Unite and SuperSport’s Let’s Play initiative. Together, with these associations, we focus on promoting and encouraging regular activity as well as relevant lifestyle issues like AIDS and diabetes.